Tigray conflict: EU humanitarian support to Ethiopian refugees reaching Sudan

(© UNHCR/Ariane Maxiandeau. A group of people who have fled ongoing clashes in northern Ethiopia’s Tigray region wait at a transit centre to cross into Sudan.)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


As more and more Ethiopian refugees fleeing conflict continue to reach the Sudanese borders, the European Commission is mobilising an initial €4 million in emergency assistance to help support the displaced people arriving in Sudan.

Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management said: “There is a real humanitarian crisis being created by the unfolding conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region. With this initial funding, we will help Ethiopian refugees who have had to leave their homes. The solution, however, lies in the cessation of hostilities. We urge parties to the conflict in Ethiopia to allow full and unrestricted access for humanitarian workers to all areas affected by fighting. Civilians are paying the price for this conflict – they must be protected and International Humanitarian Law observed. I praise Sudan’s readiness to offer refuge to Ethiopians fleeing the conflict.”

The funding announced today will support non-governmental organisations and United Nations agencies in Kassala and Gedarif states in eastern Sudan, both of which have seen a sudden influx of refugee arrivals that compound existing humanitarian needs on the ground. Refugees will receive basic essentials such as shelter, access to food and health care, sanitation and hygiene, and protection.

After the conflict erupted in Ethiopia’s Tigray region at the beginning of this month, the two states in Sudan bordering Ethiopia have received more than 29,000 Ethiopian refugees.

Background

The arrival of Ethiopian refugees in Sudan over the past week has created urgent needs for additional resources to accommodate the displaced people coming in – people who had to flee with very little personal belongings – and to start preparations for the arrival of a further influx of refugees.

This new refugee crisis comes as Sudan is itself grappling with a dire humanitarian situation caused by conflict, a deepening economic crisis, unprecedented floods, a locusts outbreak, and the coronavirus pandemic.

Sudan is already one of the largest refugee hosting country in Africa, with more than 1 million refugees, mostly from South Sudan. 

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